Word The Cat

Word the Cat


Posted by Chris on October 25, 2007 at 12:57 pm  

Should anyone happen to find themselves at a loose end in Leiden, NL this Saturday, they can find me playing at this party in multipleks squat/social centre just behind the station. Dubstep, Grime, Bassline, Old Skool – most things resonably close to 140bpm. I’ll be on at 2.30ish.



Forthcoming on Soul Jazz, box of dub 2.

With ‘dubstep’ increasingly =ing sales the release contains some slightly disappointing/(dare I say) lazy productions from scene’s big producers but some promising tracks from unexpected sources including…

Sub Version – Soul Jah Boogie 320k 14.4mb

sub version being the Berlin axis of Jay Haze, Michael Ho and Paul St Hilaire.


Teach-in on the media and Iraq at Goldsmiths yesterday emphasised the means of control exterted on journalists by their governments.

one – spin. at its most base level Rumsfield admitted paying cash to Iraqi newspapers for favourable coverage (can’t dig up another source for this).

two – criminalization. the 2006 terrorism act in the UK makes glorifying or justifying terrorism a criminal offense. this is deliberately ambiguous. less ambiguous is the section that makes it illegal for a journalist to ‘knowingly visit a terrorist training camp’. which brings me to embedding and.

three. ‘de-certifying‘ (a white house term)the media. at its most basic level this means killing them as happened with terry lloyd a non-embedded war correspondant. at home this means questioning their legitimacy. see Andrew Gilligan sacked by the BBC for suggesting the Iraq weapons dossier had been exaggerated. a claim which turned out to be completely true. The director general of the BBC also resigned as part of this incident, creating a climate of intimidation which led to senior BBC editorial staff being banned from attending the February 15 marches following a strongly worded letter from Tony Blair.

Embedding seems to be the operative word here. Coverage in a warzone becomes unavoidably sympathetic when the journalist’s life relies on the troops around them, the camera positioned behind the sandbags looking out. In the UK (I hesitate to comment on the US) the government press office seeks to replicate this process in domestic journalism – embedding the journalist within the government’s world view and making them reliant on them for their professional (rather than actual) life.
Having said that, a sweeping mistrust of the media could well have many positive consequences. News RSSed and meta-media from many sources being possible progressions…


  • Comment by Sam on October 25, 2007 at 2:46 pm

“Having said that, a sweeping mistrust of the media could well have many positive consequences.”

Like what? Openness and skepticism is great and necessary, and only fostered by an open and healthy media climate. A sweeping mistrust of the media based on a serious curtailment of media freedom sounds like the situation in your average dictatorship: an uninformed, scared and paranoid populace with no idea what to believe. Nothing positive about that.

Re: Web 2.0 — interestingly, one of its greatest mainstream media proponents now is the conservative Telegraph newspaper, largely because it fits with a their post-Thatcherite ethos and means you can employ less journalists. Hence their blazing row with the NUJ new media group, e.g. The NUJ doesn’t understand web 2.0

  • Comment by subVerse on October 25, 2007 at 9:12 pm

As my Media Studies prof says “Web 2.0 is so 10 minutes ago”. Web 2.0 = lots of user generated unreliable crap (mixed with good). Web 3.0 = professional user content. Apparently.

And a question. In Canada for example.. how much does government control and how much is media conglomerate and narrowed editor political views? Does a proliferation of owner’s view represent openness, competitiveness.. access to information. I dunno.

  • Comment by chris on October 25, 2007 at 11:21 pm

point taken sam. scepticism is not an end or a desirable environment in and of itself, but coupled with a desire to engage with a number of persepctives (and the open environment you point out this would require) it can be useful… especially if the viewer engages with his or her position as mediator, mediated and consumer.

stef, I don’t have a great deal of knowledge regarding the media situation in Canada, but there is a line between censorship and self censorship which is almost invisible. Competitiveness begs the question of what is being competed for. and professional is, as you allude, a very loaded term. What makes reportage amateur or professional; mode of presentation? employer? content (and the relationship content has with the previous two)… forgive me if I’m repeating your points. thanks for your comments.

  • Comment by Sam on October 26, 2007 at 12:26 pm

Chris, I’m entirely in favour of skepticism, absolutely so. I’m drawing a distinction between that and “sweeping mistrust” that tends to occur in repressive media environments. Agree with you absolutely that the viewer should engage positively with multiple media sources, and the Web can help with that (though I don’t see it as anything more or less than just another complicated, and compromised, medium). I also think that’s exactly what one should be able to do in a media environment characterised by openness and lack of spin — which of course does not only come from government, but also business and ideologically motivated editors.

Which, Stef, is how I understood your point, that a lack of openness in the media in capitalist democracies generally has far more to do with corporate control and the ideological orientation of powerful editors and other moneyed special interests (cf. the case of the litigious Sheikh) than it has to do with government repression.

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